Back in 2006, at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, several Kalamazoo area pastors were moved by the overwhelming need associated with global poverty and AIDS. They heard the words that stirred their spirit that the church needs to take action in the greatest pandemic in human history. From here, a group of these pastors started to meet regularly to discern how they could have an exponential impact both locally and globally in response to these issues.
There are numerous issues that we face in this world on a daily basis. Local churches have traditionally focused their efforts on helping their “local neighbor”. As the world continues to shrink through technological advances, the churches’ definition of neighbor continues to change.
The effects HIV/AIDS are numerous and wide spread. Some of the issues that have a clear connection with HIV/AIDS are ongoing medical issues, social injustices, poverty, starvation, access to clean water and education.
Throwing money at these types of problems have proven unsuccessful throughout history. Traditional means of giving money have led to dependency and instilled a lack of dignity in those suffering. True help is creating an environment where people are empowered, know they are loved by God, and can break the cycle.
CFC has chosen to partner rather than to just write checks. Partnering consists primarily of two things. One, to work with indigenous partners who have a track record of success with some assistance and will continue advancing with or without our help. Secondly, to listen to the needs and priorities that are laid out by our partners rather than forcing them to do what we think needs to be done.